Family home a legitimate source of retirement funding

Family home a legitimate source of retirement funding

Retirees are too often left struggling with their finances without the help and guidance they need, according to one of WA’s leading institutional investors.

Chief Investment Officer Chris West says that for many Australians, retirement is a stressful period but that it doesn’t need to be that way.

“Everybody deserves dignity in retirement. For many Australians unfortunately it can be a time of financial stress, particularly for those retirees without enough super or those who are reliant solely on the Age Pension,” he said.

With so many underfunded retirees, and a significant number of them carrying debt, Chris believes that using home equity as a source of retirement funding can be a viable solution.

“For many retirees their home is by far their most valuable asset and it should be considered as a potential source of retirement funds, in conjunction with the right plan and advice.

A highly experienced institutional investor, Chris is the Chief Investment Officer at WA Super and was also a finalist in the national 2019 Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards Chief Investment Officer of the Year Awards.

Committed to improving the lot for Australian retirees, Chris has just joined a WA start-up created specifically to assist retirees with their retirement planning and finances

Chris is the latest addition to the experienced team of finance professionals at Smooth Retirement, a new specialist equity release advice and funding service for retirees, coming on board as a member of the company’s Advisory Panel.

“I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to an innovative, West Australian start-up aiming to build professional equity release as a genuine compliment to other forms of retirement income and helping retirees in an effective and accessible way.”

Established in 2017, Smooth Retirement was created to assist the great number of retirees who had little or no super left and were struggling to fund the remaining years of their retirement, with just the Age Pension as their only source of income.

Smooth Retirement Managing Director and CEO Scott Phillips said the current lack of options and guidance for retirees had been the motivation to create the company.

“I was working for a large super fund and seeing all these people in real stress trying to work out how they were going to get by on the little in savings they had left.

“And all the while the family home, which was by far the greatest source of wealth for these people, was not even discussed.

“There were all these people feeling like they’d failed, feeling poor and worried yet living in homes worth $800,000 or more and it just seemed ludicrous to me.

“I wanted to find a better way and one that treated them with dignity and helped them work out the best way to access all their wealth, with proper planning, and using some of their home equity to refinance debt and / or top up their income so they could live better.”

Scott said Chris was an extremely valuable and strategic addition to the current panel of advisors, adding considerable depth and experience to the Smooth Retirement team.

“We are delighted to have Chris on board and know that we will benefit enormously from his contribution,” he said.

Smooth Retirement Pty Ltd is an independent service providing expert guidance in equity release and retirement income planning Australia-wide. ABN: 46 619 010 445; AFSL 510015; Australian Credit Licence: 510015; smoothretirement.com.au; info@smoothretirement.com.au; 1300 510 015. Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply. 

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